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Gastrointest Endosc. 2011 Jul;74(1):65-73.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2011.01.072. Epub 2011 Apr 14.

Individual and practice differences among physicians who perform ERCP at varying frequency: a national survey.

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Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.



ERCP practice patterns in the United States are largely unknown.


To characterize the ERCP practice of U.S. gastroenterologists, stratified by their annual case volume: high volume (HV, >200), moderate volume (MV, 50-200), and low volume (LV, <50).


Anonymous electronic survey.


American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy members who are practicing U.S. gastroenterologists.


Among all responders (N = 1006), 63% were derived from community practices. Physicians who performed ERCPs and provided data on annual volume (n = 669) were classified as LV (n = 254), MV (n = 284), and HV (n = 131). During training, 77% of LV physicians did not complete 180 ERCPs compared with 58% of MV and 34% of HV physicians (P < .0001). Only 58% of LV physicians enjoy performing ERCP compared with 88% of MV and 98% of HV physicians (P < .0001); 60% reported being "very comfortable" with ERCP compared with more than 90% of MV and HV physicians (P < .0001). LV physicians are less comfortable with pancreatic duct stenting (PDS) (57% vs 92% [MV] and 98% [HV], P ≤ .02) and using prophylactic PDS. Although HV physicians (42%) were least likely to use short-wire devices (P < .02), use of wire-guided cannulation was similar (74% LV, 72% MV, 66% HV, P = .13). Thirty-seven percent of LV physicians reported comfort with needle-knife sphincterotomy compared with 75% (MV) and 99% (HV) (P < .0001).


Survey completion rate of 18.5%.


Self-reported comfort and/or enjoyment with ERCP is lower among LV physicians. Wire-guided cannulation is used by the majority of all ERCP practitioners, but prophylactic PDS is less frequently used by LV physicians. Because many LV physicians perform ERCP for higher-grade indications and use advanced techniques (eg, needle-knife sphincterotomy), further LV physician ERCP outcomes data are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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